February 2nd, 2012

Just Dance 3 for the Wii

I’m not much of a video game person. We never had a gaming system when I was growing up, and up until last year, Hubby and I never had one (unless you count his old Atari). We bought a Wii so I could use Wii Fit instead of going to the gym. Well, that didn’t last long, but at least with the Wii we could stream Netflix. When I stop going to the gym, the membership card doesn’t even play music. The Wii basically served as a Netflix access point, with us occasionally playing one of the games that came with it or checking in to see if our Wii Fit avatar was still unhappy with its BMI (it was). That changed this Christmas, when Santa put Just Dance 3 in my stocking.

Not owning the first two Just Dance games, I can’t really say how it compares. I can say that it has a wide variety of songs/dances, from oldies to current hits, Bollywood to Country. Princess and Caveman are partial to Danny Elfman’s “This is Halloween” from The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack. I was highly amused to find “Let’s Go to the Mall” by Robin Sparkles* (it’s legend—wait for it—dary). In terms of ease of play, since all you have to do is hold the controller and dance, it’s pretty doable. Princess, while she hasn’t beaten my high scores, can rack up some points, and I discovered that Caveman was happy to dance around holding the tv remote, making the purchase of additional Wii-motes unnecessary. Hubby prefers to watch us and make snide remarks. We can’t all be dancers.

There are a few songs that I skip if the kids are around, but my kids are small and I may be oversensitive to that type of thing. As a whole, this is a game your family can play together. If you’re interested in burning calories, you can switch to “sweat” mode and focus more on fitness, but I find just playing the regular game is fairly aerobic. There’s also a “simon says” mode I managed to unlock but haven’t yet played. It does seem like there are plenty of new songs (with more available for purchase) and modes to keep you interested in the game for a while.

I’ve never been very good at sticking to a workout regime. In the past, I’d start out strong but eventually not feel like it and then give it up entirely. Just Dance 3, though, doesn’t really feel like a workout. My brain thinks it’s a fun game, even though my body thinks it’s exercise. If you already have a fitness routine, this probably isn’t going to do much more than entertain you, but if your idea of exercise is walking into the kitchen for a glass of milk, this is one way to fit more “steps” into your day. Plus, it’s a way to get your entire family up and moving, and on a cold or rainy day, it just might burn off some of your kids’ excess energy. I call that a win!

*Robin Sparkles is a character from How I Met Your Mother, a highly entertaining sitcom Hubby and I are currently enjoying via Netflix streaming.

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This Weeks Tip

With the advent of chewables and liquids, many of us forget that, at some point in their lives, our children WILL need to know how to swallow a pill. Better to learn young, as the gag reflex only gets stronger with age. One pediatrician suggests starting at age 4 and making a game of it… using a supply of TicTacs and their favorite drink. Have them put the TicTac way at the back of their tongue and then GULP!